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Thursday, 04/19/2012, 03:14 pm

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Breaking down Jon Jones Vs. Rashad Evans


By Lewis Mckeever:
The hour is nearly upon us. It has been billed as one of the most personal affairs to ever grace the octagon. A confrontational feud that has been brewing and escalating for over 12 months is almost set for conclusion. Saturday evening’s superstars; Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have almost exhausted the UFC media with their to and fro verbal exchanges. The burning question is whether or not their conflict inside the cage will reflect the up and down, see-saw type battle of words we have all relished throughout the past year. It’s time to stop talking boys.

Jon “Bones” Jones looks to preserve the UFC light-heavyweight title and continue his dominant assault on everyone and anyone that dares to cross his path. Meanwhile, “Suga” Rashad Evans is seeking redemption. A man on a mission, set out to reclaim the UFC gold he once cherished, only to have it snatched away from his grasp of May 2009. Now, let’s get into the real meat of the match-up.

Throughout his 4 year Mixed Martial Arts career, it’s difficult for most MMA fans to come to terms with the success Jon has attained at such a young, vulnerable age. Although he has acquired UFC gold and steam rolled through most of the sport’s top competitors, “Bones” is still relatively new to the scene. Greg Jackson’s prized pupil has yet to taste any real adversity or danger in his UFC stint.

However, one could make the argument that Lyoto Machida troubled the youngster in his last outing at UFC 140. The Karate Kid managed to steal a round from Jones, tagging the champ with a solid, straight left hand, which seemingly sent Jon stumbling backwards, desperately seeking to regain his composure. Hardly a true test of Jon’s strength of will and perseverance, but it is still, to date, the hardest strike we have seen Jones react to (unless you want to count the illegal up kick Brandon Vera cracked Jon’s jaw with at “UFC live: Jones vs. Vera”). We have witnessed the veteran champions such as Anderson Silva and Georges St Pierre tested with hardship in their contests against Chael Sonnen and Matt Serra, but Jon Jones remains a stranger to such endangerment.

Switching perspectives to Rashad Evans, “Suga” has faced a generous amount of troubling encounters throughout his career. After his devastating knock out loss to Karateka; Lyoto Machida, Evans has demonstrated a true champion’s heart. Despite distressing injuries’ postponing his career, Rashad has successfully managed to string together a series of victories against talented UFC foes. Even during those wins, Evans has persevered through a number of nerve-wracking moments. Thiago Silva had Rashad dazed and confused during the mid-way point of round three of their encounter, alongside Rampage’s brief spurt of success in the final round of their long-awaited contest at UFC 114. Despite overwhelming criticism of Rashad’s performances in the above bouts, it requires heart, determination and focus to overcome such adversaries and to still prevail victorious.

Jon Jones is notorious for his overpowering reach advantage and large, lanky frame. Most of Jon’s critiques claim that he is too large for his weight class and should stop bullying around smaller opponents, but couldn’t the same thoughts be uttered about Anderson Silva? The reality of the situation is that Jones has been blessed with gifted physical attributes, in which he has specifically trained and honed his skills towards accordingly. Jones utilizes his daunting reach advantage to retain his opponents at bay, stifling them with a variation of low/high kicks, spinning attacks and an improving jab.

Rashad on the other hand, is an entirely different physical specimen. Short, stout and compact; Rashad uses cunning footwork, combined with select explosiveness, to dart in and out of his challengers comfort zone. Evans is renowned for his ability to seamlessly set up his boxing proficiency, with sudden, commanding take downs. This stand out attribute of Evans’ MMA arsenal is a very legitimate threat towards Jon Jones and it would be foolish to ignore it.

The concern with Rashad however, is that even if he manages to gauge the distance on Jones, how does he deal with the inevitable clinch scenario? Jon Jones is a Greco Roman powerhouse, attacking opponents with a variation of throws, slams and even suplexes (hi Stephan Bonnar). Rashad’s entire game plan is most likely based on closing the distance with his former rival, but he is simply outmatched with Jon’s overwhelming control in the clinch.

For those said reasons, I pick Jon Jones to finish Rashad Evans via TKO (most likely from elbow strikes) in the third round.

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14 Comments to Breaking down Jon Jones Vs. Rashad Evans

  1. Thomas Blair says:

    As good as Jones is, I dont see Rashad just sitting back and letting Jones TKO him. Say what you will about him but Rashad never sto
    ps working. Even when he got KOd by Machida, he was fighting until the end. I can only see Jones winning by submission or Rashad by KO

    • LOL says:

      Ask any TKO victim in the UFC: they will guarantee tell you that didn’t sit back and let themselves get TKOd. But I respect Rashad’s quickness and power. He will have to close the gap and Jon won’t let him. Rashad thinks he can get close to Jones enough to inflict damage. Not happening. At least not enough stop Jones or score big.

      Jones by unanimous decision.

  2. Judge_Dreadz says:

    well said

  3. Derek Schock says:

    Have to agree

  4. HUNTOOOOOOO says:

    Whoever is writing this article is a fucking chump. Quite boring tbh lmaoooo

  5. jon anti-christ jones says:

    I rarely ever go to UFC.com.. but for this fight I have had to because I had no idea who else is fighting on the card.

  6. cool story bro says:

    you guys think jones has that beard to help hide his un-tested chin for rashad because deep down he knows that rashad will test it any chance he can get? I think so, though i dont count either fighter out. they are both great at what they do lets just hope they settle it and leave it in the octagon when it happens. they are both great i think jones got the youth aspect on his side, but evans got much more experience. i think rashad is more then capable for the upset but jones is also capable of alot too

  7. Fedor says:

    True. Jones hasnt really been tested as much as other fighters in his division. Rashad has a tremendous amount of experience and is constantly staying busy. I don’t see this fight going to decision. Both guys want to stop the fight.

  8. HAmma UFC says:

    Jonny Bones beat the man that beat the man.Rashad has a big task ahead of him

  9. Boooooo says:

    Well said Thomas Blair

  10. Chris says:

    Rashad is so underrated its unreal, its gunna be a close fight :O

  11. Shawn says:

    The only realistic way I see Evans winning, is by points. Keep busy and moving. Doing his pantented hit and run technique, than a quick takedown. Controlling the top game, with some pepper punches. Step and repeat till stood up by the ref. Then do it all over again. Jones is too long for Evans to KO him (unless he gets really lucky), and Evans jitz isn’t good enough to submit jones. If Evans wants to win, he’ll have to fight a boring, but smart fight. I just hope that if he can get Jones on his back, he’ll make his GnP count. Not just rabbit punches to show off to the judges.

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